Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Due to the increasingly mild winters, tortoises are having difficulties getting into the mood for hibernation, according to the esteemed Metro.

The solution to this problem, apparently, is to stick them in a fridge.  

People of my generation were brought up to believe that tortoises should spend about eight months a year in a cardboard box full of straw.  This was due to the Blue Peter presenters' treatment of transgender pet Fred/Freda.

Face it, tortoises are not really the most charismatic of animals, are they?  I think my cousin's pet, though, may have been the exception to the rule.

He went missing for about two days ...

... only to be found a couple of miles away from my cousin's house, having walked uphill over some fields.

He was waiting at a bus stop.

I bet he'd got it all planned: the bus from the Midlands village to Walsall; a connecting bus to Birmingham and a train to Euston.

Small town life isn't for everybody, after all.

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Might have been quicker going to Lichfield and catching the London train at Trent Valley. Save having to fiddle about with the exact change for the 51 at Walsall Bus Station.
On of my old housemates had a tortoise. Every day she would let iot roam around on the living room floor and strecth it's legs. One day she had left the back door open and the Raphealla jumped out and in to the garden.
We searched all evening around the garden for it. We even looked around the next morning, but couldn't find it
A few weeks later, after I had moved out, I got a text saying raphealla had been found still wondering around the garden.
Malc - nah, getting to Lichfield would've involved getting a bus to Cannock, getting a bus to Rugeley and then getting a bus to Lichfield. He'd got it all covered. Mind you, Walsall bus station is always full of nutters ...

The boy who ... that seems to be about all that tortoises do, wonder about, very slowly. They seem to live to about 250, but who wants to live for 250 years when all you do is walk around in the undergrowth, slowly?
He was looking for David Atters who would make him a celebrity.
He'd seen Jane Goody and Darius Danesh and knew that lack of charisma was a decided advantage.
Kaz - David is starting to look a bit tortoise-like himself these days, although he is is still A God, of course. Darius Danesh has gone the whole way with the tortoise approach though - no charisma and plodding along for years before finally finding fame. Life's not fair, is it?
four types of tortoise have been discussed: refrigerated, transexual, undergrowth-rambling and public transport. I feel ready to face the rest of my life confidently now, armed comprehensively with tortoise related information, and I thank you.
A friend of mine had terrapins. They're nasty >:(

Did anyone read that story about the cat that wanders off every night and waits at the same place on the pavement a few miles away to be picked up in the morning? Just thought I'd drop it in there. tum te tum.
I have a pregnant friend whose 2 year old is currently under the impression that, rather than a baby, her mother is actually going to have a tortoise.

I can see the advantages to having a tortaoise child, as you could stick it in a box in the attic for the winter and save a fortune on Christmas presents! It wouldn't even have to know there is a Christmas!
So who's that tiny woman next to the tortoise? She must be all of a foot high.
FN - but, but ... tortoises are THE subject of conversation at all the best dinner parties this season! It really is important that you know as much as possible about them if you're to keep in with the right crowd!

Doris - that child is going to be really disappointed. Mind you, new born babies tend to look a bit like tortoises. Put a bin lid on its back as it crawls along and you wouldnt be able to tell the difference, if you were two. This is what I like about you though Doris: you're quietly mad.

Dive - the woman is actually seven foot nine. Britain's tallest woman meets Britain's biggest tortoise, Big Barry at Bristol Zoo. You wouldn't want to get into a fight with either of 'em, believe me.
Fathorse -I think people used to buy terrapins as pets for their kids during the Ninja Turtles era. They're really small as babies but quickly grow to a fair old size. People were releasing them into rivers when they got too big. Parents, such responsible and mature people, eh?

Oh, and cats are generally rubbish, so that story doesn't surprise me at all. Lazy sods. Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.
How on earth do the zoo keepers get Big Barry in the fridge in winter?
IDV - he's sent in a lorry to an underground silo which he's lowered into using a crane. I can't publish the location of the silo because it's a top MOD secret.
I wonder what tandoori tortoise tastes like.

Maybe that's why that tortoise was fleeing. The Brummies like their tandoori.
I find it difficult to look at a tortoise for any length of time. It's Freudian isn't it? Thought so.
Garfer - don't knock tandoori tortoise. A West Mids delicacy to rival turtle soup.

Arabella - don't know if it's Freudian, but my mother responded in exactly the same way to Eric Morley. Every year, when he announced the results of Miss World "in reverse order" she used to turn away from the telly with a look of disgust in her eyes and say "ugh, I CAN'T STAND HIM".
So that's how he planned to beat the hare, then, is it? By taking the bus. The cheating bastard...
Ben - it was a close shave, of course, because the tortoise had to wait until the hare was about half a mile from the finishing line. Three buses turned up at once, needless to say.
Perhaps your cousin's pet had heard Supertramp's 'Hide In Your Shell' once too often and he finally snapped!?

"Hide in your shell,
'cause the world is out to bleed you for a ride.
What will you gain,
making your life a little longer?"

I wish that I could hibernate..but not in a box with straw..
I'm thinking Maui or Cozumel.
LT - you look well prepared for hibernation with all that hair and fur. Disappearing for six months of the year is the only way to cope with the general bleakness of life. Half a league, half a league onward.
I found a tortoise once, in Greece, was it your cousin's d'you think? Having expanded its horizons?
Ziggz - possibly. I mean, they live for a long time and travel opportunities have expanded a lot since the late 1970's. Maybe he's out there at the moment touching down from a long haul flight in New Zealand.
Betty, I'm surprised that your readers have completely missed the reason for the tortoise's wanderings. He is looking for a mate, and he is that desperate he actually would go via Cannock if it guaranteed him a shag. I once had a girlfriend who lived near Stafford, I often went via Cannock, so I know!
Tom - it always comes back to how's yer father with you, doesn't it, eh? "Via Cannock" isn't a sexual euphemism I'm familiar with, and I'm from Cannock (almost).
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